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Apple blossom time…

Apple blossom
Apple blossom

I do love this time of year, the apple trees are all in bloom here. I think that we need to invent the smellernet, the perfume from all the trees is fantastic, especially in the sunshine – when it decides to shine on us!

I planted quite a lot of them many years ago, after discovering that the huge vegetable garden that I had planned might be a little difficult, due to the lack of soil.

The field that I had intended to use turned out to have been, in the past, a stock yard, where cattle were kept. The whole area has about two inches of soil, underneath which there is about three feet of stones.

When I planted the trees I had to use a pick axe and, as there were around twenty five trees, it took me a while. Once they had their roots down the trees really loved it.  The insects love the trees and I love the fruit. As do our two dogs. They regularly inspect the trees to see if there are any apples that they can steal. Oh and the chickens like apples too, good job that I planted so many. 🙂

There are one or two rhododendrons flowering too, very pretty but no smell or fruit off them.

Rhododendron "Creamy Chiffon"
Rhododendron “Creamy Chiffon”
Red rhododendron
Red rhododendron

 

Facebook Competitions

Leaflet entry
Leaflet entry

I found out on Monday that I am a finalist in a competition. The competition is being run by the nice people at Printed.com.

The “Square Flair-Off design competition” brief competition was to design a 150mm square leaflet. I used a pen and ink drawing that I had done as the basis for the design.

Sadly for me, I didn’t read through the rules properly (let that be a lesson) and notice the fact that the final leg of the competition is being held on Facebook. Now I don’t do Facebook – just because I am contrary – so this gives me a bit of a problem.

As I am not on Facebook, I don’t have any Facebook friends and because of the vagaries of Facebook, it is unlikely that I will get enough people voting for my design. It wasn’t that good anyway…

Still if you do feel like helping out here’s the link to my entry:

https://www.facebook.com/printedcom/photos/pb.183666021710384.-2207520000.1463657142./1025425350867776/?type=3&theater

A couple of new paintings

I have been doing quite a bit of painting on paper lately, rather than my usual support which is canvas. I love the way that the paint moves on paper, especially when I water it down.

Now I know that I may well get someone saying that I shouldn’t water down acrylic paint with just water. I do add a little airbrush medium too but it is mainly water. I only do this when I am painting on paper and, in 35 years or so of using acrylics, I have never had any adhesion problems.

I have also added a little acrylic ink in the form of lines and doodles, as well as a bit of pastel.

I keep telling myself that I need to do paintings that fit into the frames that I already have in stock but, quite often, I get so wrapped up in the moment of creation that I completely forget and just grab the first piece of decent watercolour paper that I can lay my hands on. 🙂

Untitled, acrylic on paper
Untitled, acrylic on paper
Fractures
“Fractures”, acrylic and pastel on watercolour paper

Free dragon knitting chart…

Freeby time!  So I decided that the dragon chart that I recently listed for sale will become the first freebie on my blog. I am giving it away to anyone who signs up for my newsletter.

I am busy painting just now but I hope to get on to some knitting soon, so I will be using it myself to make a cushion cover. When I do I will post the finished object. Mind you, there’s all those crocheted baby clothes that I have 99% done and need to finish off! So many things, etc.

If you are already signed up to the newsletter and would like a copy please just drop me a line. 🙂

dragon chart
dragon chart

New prints on Folksy

I have been busy doing some more prints of my paintings, including the ones that other people are determined to sell without informing me!

I have also had some fun making some digital art and have listed them on my Folksy shop, which I am sad to say I have neglected for the past year or so! Still never too late…

I love animals and thought that it would be fun to create some cheerful stuff using them as the subject matter. I am using pigment inks and heavy, archival quality paper, so they should stay nice and bright for a good while!

Here are a selection:

I am now working on some prints that will be a combination of hand and digital work. I am starting off with a hand painted piece, photographing it, printing it and then adding further embellishment to each print, so that every print will be unique.

I will keep you posted on them…

They are at it again…

A Place to Live
A Place to Live

Yet again, this image is appearing on various websites, where they have the nerve to not only claim copyright of it but also attribute it to some bogus artist, not me in other words. Some are giving it away as free wallpaper, others are actually selling prints of it.

In some cases they haven’t even bothered changing the file name. I get so frustrated with this kind of illegal use of my work. If someone wanted to use my work for non profit applications they could at least ask! As for the ones making money out of it, I just hope that their karma catches up with them.

I try not to put up very high resolution images, to discourage anyone from using them but if they are really, really low resolution then there isn’t much point in displaying them at all (goes outside to scream).

OK, rant over!

Anyway if anyone wants to buy prints of this or any of my paintings, please contact me. I will be putting some into my Etsy shop, but I can’t afford to list them all just now, so if there is something that you don’t see in the shop, then contact me. I can accept payments by Paypal.

Knitting charts – a dragon is born…

I have had a few requests for a dragon knitting chart, so here it is!

dragon chart
dragon chart

This is a free chart for anyone who signs up to my newsletter. I have a few more in the pipeline, so don’t forget to check back every so often.  Just now I am working on a scottie dog, a greyhound, cats and other random creatures.

The process involved in making the chart goes like this: I do a pen and ink drawing of the subject of the chart. Then I have to convert it to an image file, tidy it up in Photopaint and then make up a chart in CorelDraw. Finally it gets listed on t’internet.

This chart is intended to be used for knitting but I am hoping to create charts aimed at other crafts too. I’ll see how it goes! 🙂

Don’t forget to let me know how you get on if you do use the chart.

Button it…

The last couple of days, I have had a polymer clay frenzy. I needed some buttons and decided to make some. However, polymer clay buttons are a bit like Pringles, once you start, you can’t stop.

I think that this may continue for some time – because it’s fun!

Hand made, polymer clay buttons
Hand made, polymer clay buttons

I made some floral ones, using a mould that I made from an antique glass button. I added a little mica powder before baking, then after baking I rubbed a little acrylic paint in to the surface to give it a bit of patina.

Hand made, polymer clay buttons
Hand made, polymer clay buttons

I also did some tribal faces, I had the idea a while ago and never got round to it then. They are made with some clay that I made to give the appearance of wood, then antiqued with some acrylic paint.

Hand made, polymer clay buttons
Hand made, polymer clay buttons
Hand made, polymer clay buttons
Hand made, polymer clay buttons
Hand made, polymer clay buttons
Hand made, polymer clay buttons

The rest are a random mix of texture, along with some that I made from an old polymer clay cane.

As usual, they are available on my Etsy shop. 🙂

The quest for a washable inkjet print on fabric…

The good, the bad and the ugly, inkjet prints on fabric
The good, the bad and the ugly, inkjet prints on fabric. on the left, pigment ink prints. On the right dye based prints.

A few years ago, I did some prints on to old cotton sheeting, using my HP  inkjet printer, which used pigment inks.  After drying thoroughly, I was able to wash the printed fabric with very little loss of ink. Although the prints were a little more muted than those done on paper they were still very good.

So this week, I decided to do some more fabric prints. However, what I had forgotten was that not all inkjet printers are created equal. Now I am not sure if it is the type of ink, my current printer uses dye based inks, but it doesn’t give the same results. The ink washes out.

I tried leaving the prints to dry, I tried ironing them, I tried pre-soaking the fabric in a solution of alum, washing soda and fabric softener, none of which made a bit of difference.

I know that there is a product called BubbleJet Set, which purports to help you get colourfast fabric prints. Being a bit grippy, I am loathe to spend money on it as I have no guarantee of it working.

I also have concerns that, even with the Bubble Jet Set solution the prints, being dye based, might fade. I really wish that I still had my old printer 🙁

Do any of you lovely people out there have any experience of this product?